Wilmington, DE – The Delaware Center for Horticulture (DCH), a local non-profit organization dedicated to improving the community through the power of plants, received a $10,000 grant from Delmarva Power through the Delaware Nature Society. The 2022 Delmarva Sustainable Communities Program grants are awarded to municipalities, recreational authorities and nonprofits for projects focusing on open space preservation, improvements to parks and recreation resources, and environmental conservation. This grant in the Environmental Conservation Category was awarded to DCH to support work in public landscapes in Wilmington and the installation of pollinator-friendly gardens. Awards were presented during the Delmarva Sustainable Communities grants press event on Wednesday, November 16, at the DuPont Environmental Education Center.
“The mission of Delaware Nature Society is to connect people with nature and to improve the environment for everyone,” said Jen Adkins, executive director, DelNature. “We are pleased to support Delmarva Power by connecting them with sustainable projects that help protect habitats, promote pollinators, beautify our built environment, reduce water pollution and support use of renewable energy. These projects and others like them will transform our region.”
The Delaware Center for Horticulture received this award to fund the 2022-2023 program, Connecting Ecology and Community, where DCH landscape team members and participants from DCH’s employment training program, Branches to Chances®, work to strengthen the connectivity and function of greenspaces to improve the urban environment. The program targets areas and individuals who experience environmental inequity and injustice and delivers greening and services that alleviate those problems. In addition to a more beautiful, safer, and healthier environment, the program reduces unemployment, increases civic pride and self-autonomy, and builds stronger social networks.
DCH currently manages 23 public landscapes in 10 different neighborhoods within the Delaware River Watershed, which are key to the Connecting Ecology and Community project. Combined, these sites host 187 unique plant species that will capture hundreds of metric tons of atmospheric carbon dioxide, a significant heat-trapping greenhouse gas, over the next decade.
“The ability to manage our public landscape sites and improve spaces with native plants that benefit pollinators is made possible by our supporters. This generous grant will allow us to continue our work into 2023 and make more spaces in Wilmington greener,” says Executive Director of the DCH, Vikram Krishnamurthy. “DCH’s public landscapes program works in tandem with our Branches to Chances® employment training program to help create healthier environments, provide more employment options, and build a stronger community in Wilmington. These programs are a true demonstration of the power of nature-based solutions for ecological, economic, and social challenges. We appreciate Delmarva Power and the Delaware Nature Society’s recognition of our work in the local community, and their continued support of the Delaware Center for Horticulture through this award.”
In addition to maintaining public landscapes, the DCH provides a variety of programs on horticulture, tree planting and care, community gardening and public greening. The DCH facility in Wilmington’s Trolley Square neighborhood hosts events, rentals, and the DCH gardens are free and open to the public year-round.